Get out the defibrillators

IAN BUSBY -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 11:45 AM ET

If Tom Higgins wasn't in such great health, there might be a few more worries about the way his team finishes games.

The Calgary Stampeders have become the CFL's version of the Cardiac Kids, a stay-in-your-seat entertainment product.

Waiting until the last seconds to decide the outcome can put strain on everyone involved, most notably the head coach, and it's happened every time the Stamps have taken the field this season.

By coming back to beat the Hamilton Tiger-Cats 23-22 Thursday on a buzzer-beating 45-yard field goal by Sandro DeAngelis, the Stamps have proven they will live and die by keeping things close until the gun.

"I have a lot of people who are hoping that is not the case. They want to have a chance to relax," said Higgins yesterday after tensions had cooled down at McMahon Stadium.

"But if it gets to be a tight game, it bodes well that we have the playmakers to make those tough plays."

The Stamps' first and last drives couldn't have gone any better Thursday and a lot in between was solid.

Almost everything went well in the first half except for a Joffrey Reynolds fumble that was recovered for a touchdown and a Jason Goss interception off Henry Burris he returned 109 yards for a score.

Calgary's offence outgained the Ticats 518 net yards to 292 because of a good effort and game plan from the defence, which limited Jason Maas to short passes.

Burris engineered a great first drive of 80 yards on four passing plays to hit the endzone and give the Stamps a lead.

Yet it all came down to Burris hitting Markus Howell and Ken-Yon Rambo for gains of 13 and 24 to get in DeAngelis' range for the the winner with no time left.

Despite the sloppiness, the team improved to 2-1 in late comebacks and overall record.

"The mistakes were very glaring," Higgins said.

"When we did watch the tape, we saw how well we played in many areas.

"Our opening drive was as good as you could get. The glaring mistakes are the ones that could have cost us.

"We had a chance to dominate a football game but we didn't in the turnover battle. The turnovers made a case where we needed a last-minute heroic effort where we had to pull it out in the end."

For the second time this season, Burris was able to channel some John Elway magic into his game late.

Unlike a week ago when a mixup with Rambo cost the Stamps a win in Edmonton, Burris was able to keep his group calm and full of confidence when driving for a victory.

"I don't know what it is all three games have the same situation," Burris said.

"We never give up. When things go wrong, we will still stick with it and it seems to work for us.

"We have to feel lucky to win for the way we played. The defence played spectacularly for us.

"For us to give up that many points, that's something we can't continue to let happen.

"If there is any time for this to happen, let it be now. Let's learn from it and put it behind us."


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